ATLANTA-Looking for a second win over a Power 5 opponent early in the season, Georgia State will close a stretch of six-straight road games at Alabama on Tuesday night. Tip is set for 8 p.m. ET at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Georgia State (5-3) is looking to earn multiple wins over Power 5 programs for the second time in program history. The last time was the 2000-01 season in which the Panthers opened the season with a win over Georgia and then defeated Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers knocked off Georgia 91-67 in the Cayman Islands Classic two weeks ago.
The Panthers will face Alabama (5-2) for just the third time in program history, but the second under head coach Ron Hunter, with the Crimson Tide winning each of those last two games.
Tuesday’s contest can be heard live on WAOK-AM 1380 and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Dave Cohen, now in his 36th year as the Voice of the Panthers, calling the action. The game will also air live on SEC Network+ with Roger Hoover and Wimp Sanderson on the call. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.
Tuesday will also mark a homecoming of sorts for senior Devin Mitchell who played his freshman season at Alabama. A highly-recruited guard out of Lawrenceville, Ga., Mitchell returned to Atlanta after one season and has flourished with the Panthers. Last season he knocked down 98 3-pointers, second-most in school history, while shooting 44.7 percent from beyond the arc.
“After a tough loss on Saturday, our guys are excited to be able to get right back out on the court to face a very good Alabama squad,” Hunter said. “We have had a couple of really good practices since we got back and I have no doubt that this team will rise up to the challenge on Tuesday.”
Junior D’Marcus Simonds, who is tied for first in the Sun Belt Conference averaging 21.6 points per game, has moved into sixth-place on Georgia State’s all-time scoring list with 1,303 points. He is currently on pace to break R.J. Hunter’s school record of 1,819 career points by the end of the season.
Simonds, the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year, is 31st in the nation in scoring while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor.
Seniors Malik Benlevi and Jeff Thomas are also averaging in double figures. Benlevi, who has knocked down 14 3-pointers in the last three games, is averaging 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Thomas is adding 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest and currently stands seventh in program history with 161 3-pointers.
Georgia State enters play averaging 8.5 steals per game, No. 1 in the Sun Belt and 38th in the NCAA. Benlevi, along with sophomore Kane Williams rank among the top three in the conference in steals. The Panthers 5.4 blocks per game average
- Georgia State has five wins over current SEC schools.
- Georgia State is facing five teams that made the 2018 NCAA Tournament during non-conference play. The match-up with Alabama will be the fourth this season with the fifth coming at No. 15 Kansas State on Dec. 15.
- Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won more games (115) than any other NCAA Division I team in the state of Georgia.
Following Tuesday’s game, Georgia State will return home to face Chattanooga on Dec. 12. Tickets are available by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com/Tix or by calling 404-413-4020.